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The good, the bad, the ugly, and whatever the fourth is !


Qcumbor
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Hi friends

Venice_%E2%80%93_The_Tetrarchs_03.jpg

Copyright Nino Barbieri, Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, two porphyry sculptures looted from the Philadelphion of Constantinople after 1204, now standing at the southwest corner of St Mark's Basilica, Venice

 

From the wikipedia page about tetrarchy The Tetrarchy was the system instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293 to govern the ancient Roman Empire by dividing it between two senior emperors, the augusti, and their juniors and designated successors, the caesares. This marked the end of the Crisis of the Third Century.

Initially Diocletian chose Maximian as his caesar in 285, raising him to co-augustus the following year; Maximian was to govern the western provinces and Diocletian would administer the eastern ones. The role of the augustus was likened to Jupiter, while his caesar was akin to Jupiter's son Hercules. Galerius and Constantius were appointed caesares in March 293. Diocletian and Maximian retired on 1 May 305, raising Galerius and Constantius to the rank of augustus. Their places as caesares were in turn taken by Valerius Severus and Maximinus Daza.

The orderly system of two senior and two junior emperors endured until Constantius died in July 306, and his son Constantine was unilaterally acclaimed augustus and caesar by his father's army. Maximian's son Maxentius contested Severus' title, styled himself princeps invictus, and was appointed caesar by his retired father in 306. Severus surrendered to Maximian and Maxentius in 307. Maxentius and Constantine were both recognized as augusti by Maximian that same year. Galerius appointed Licinius augustus for the west in 308 and elevated Maximinus Daza to augustus in 310.

Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 left him in control of the western part of the empire, while Licinius was left in control of the east on the death of Maximinus Daza. Constantine and Licinius jointly recognized their sons – Crispus, Constantine II, and Licinius II – as caesares in March 317. Ultimately the tetrarchic system lasted until c. 324, when mutually destructive civil wars eliminated most of the claimants to power: Licinius resigned as augustus after the losing the Battle of Chrysopolis, leaving Constantine in control of the entire empire.

The Constantinian dynasty's emperors retained some aspects of collegiate rule; Constantine appointed his son Constantius II as another caesar in 324, followed by Constans in 333 and his nephew Dalmatius in 335, and the three surviving sons of Constantine in 337 were declared joint augusti together, and the concept of the division of the empire under multiple joint emperors endured until the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the Eastern Roman empire, augusti and caesares continued to be appointed sporadically.

 

One of my (too) numerous collecting goals has been, for quite a long time now, to put together a series of argentei of the tetrarchs. At some point I've already had three, but since two of them were in rather pristine condition (it's not very difficult to find them in nice condition, as they have not been in use much I think, but stay quite pricey for they're sought after) and the third one quite worn, I parted with that one (Maximianus). The last Leu # 12 auction (Adrian Lang collection) being somewhat frustrating because of rocket prices leaving me far behind on everything on my watchlist or I had a bid on, when the run of argentei showed up I decided I would bid on some (I'm not smart on those occasions). Anyway I got the two tetrarchs needed to complete the quatuor (black background are my poor pictures, in need of a reshoot, white background are the two new babies, pictures courtesy of Leu Numismatik)

2018a1cb7ae74951bddfd6d421482013.jpg

Diocletian, Argenteus - Nicomedia mint, 3rd officina, AD 295-296

DIOCLETI ANVS AVG, Laureate head of Diocletian right

VICTORIAE SARMATICAE, The tetrarchs sacrifying before a campgate. SMNΓat exergue

3.3 gr

Ref : RCV # 12615 (1000), Cohen #491 var,

 

34cee5d10c3c4dfe90f34e48056dec6e.jpg

Maximianus, first reign, 286-305. Argenteus - Serdica, 1st officina, circa 303-305 CE

MAXIMIA-NVS AVG Laureate head of Maximianus to right. 

VIRTVS MILITVM / •SM•SDA• Campgate with three turrets and no doors.

19 mm - 3.43 g -12 h

Ref : Gautier 5. RIC 1b var. (unrecorded officina). RSC 627a. A very rare variety. Beautifully toned. Extremely fine.
Ex Leu Auction 12 # 1501 (15/05/2022), From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang and from the collection of a maître cuisinier, Leu 10, 24 October 2021, 2363, previously acquired before 2005.

 

57046588509240338ea5007c5b32dfd6.jpg

Constantius, Argenteus - Antioch mint, 8th officina, c. AD 296-297

CONSTANTIVS CAESAR, Laureate head of Constantius right

VIRTVS MILITVM, Campgate, *ANTH* at exergue

3.40 gr

Ref : Cohen #318, RCV # 13966 (1100)

 

8ab512b724f04923b0f47ddccb426bef.jpg

Galerius, as Caesar, 293-305. Argenteus - Thessalonica, circa 302.

MAXIMIA-NVS NOB C Laureate head of Galerius to right. 

CONCORD-IA MI-LITVM / TS•Γ• Campgate with four turrets, open doors and star above gate.

19 mm - 3.47 g - 11 h

Ref : Gautier 7 corr. (reverse legend break). RIC 8 var. (unrecorded officina and differing reverse legend break). RSC 22A corr. (mint mark). Extremely rare. A lustrous, fresh and boldly struck piece. Tiny marks on the obverse, otherwise, virtually as struck.
Ex Leu auction 12 # 1534 (15/05/2022), From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang, ex Roma XVIII, 29 September 2019, 1227.

 

Please show your coins from the Tetrachy (1st and/or 2nd) either in silver, bronze or gold, or anything you feel relevant

Q

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Posted (edited)

Gorgeous coins. I've never managed to justify an argenteus, but I hope to get one like those!

I'm going to have to stick with bronze.

Maximian I Follis, 300image.png.c2d14b2e3d75bbcb01e223e662dda169.pngLondinium. Bronze, 26mm 9.36g. Laureate and cuirassed bust right; IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG. Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopiae; GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (RIC VI, 6b).

Edited by John Conduitt
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Posted · Supporter

Never spent enough time in this area, but am very envious of your Diocletian with the four tetrarchas together. 

Here's the big guy himself and some pals:

IMG_2532(1).PNG.bc961371f2433a635d1495a878811f45.PNG

IMG_1116(1).PNG.b1141d06a5f2b4d3126e5d19447900f5.PNG

And the rattiest Chlorus on the planet. What can I say, I like the patina:

Screenshot_20200919-194255_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.489bb2b87571ce03d17e35b831ca676f.png

 

 

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Yes, I definitely want more of Diocletian.

Diocletian Post-abdication Follis, 305-307image.png.4f130a67a2be5fed30361dab1e9bc928.pngLondinium. Bronze, 27mm, 10.51g. Laureate bust of Diocletian right, wearing imperial mantle, holding olive branch and mappa (napkin); D N DIOCLETIANO FELICISSIMO SEN AVG. Providentia standing facing, head right, receiving olive branch from Quies standing facing, head left, holding branch and sceptre; PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG (RIC VI, 77a).

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@Qcumbor...Wow!....Wonderful looking coins!...The reverse of the Diocletian is stunning and I also love the Galerius portrait🥰....

Here's my humble Galerius and wifey.....

galnew_together.jpg.65b75a0d0a15381541d0c7ff3f856f2f.jpg

Galerius Maximianus as Caesar AE Follis minted 297 AD.

11,46 g. 25 mm.

Obv: GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES. Laureate Head right

Rev: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI/ (crescent)/ D// ANT. Genius standing left, holding cornucopiae and patera.

RIC VI 49b Antioch

From an old collection formed in the 1920s. Ex Münzhandlung Kallai, Vienna.

GALVALTOGETHER.jpg.11717db66aac507eec1b3b73aa8d8355.jpg

Galeria Valeria AD 305-311, AE follis of Thessalonica. 27.63mm/ 5.79 grams

Obverse > GAL VALE-RIA AVG, Diademed bust facing, head right, hair weaved in rows and curled around side of head at base of neck, wearing embroidered robes with two necklaces.

Reverse > VENERI V-ICTRICI,Venus standing facing, head left, apple in uplifted right hand, raising drapery over left shoulder with left hand. Star in left field,Gamma in right field.

Mintmark > dot SM dot TS dot. RIC VI #36 Thessalonica ; Officina 3, AD December 308- May 310 AD.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just digging out another. The early Tetrachy has some nice large, bold bronzes. Not quite like an argentius, but great to hold. Thanks for encouraging me to get them out...

Constantius I as Caesar Follis, 303-305image.png.b7af7778c2e893a4fd9d4925a5247143.pngTrier. Bronze, 25mm, 8.60g. Laureate, cuirassed bust right; CONSTANTIVS NOB C. Genius standing left, tower on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae, S-F across fields; GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI; mintmark PTR (RIC VI, 602a). From the Rauceby (Lincolnshire) Hoard 2017, comprising 3,097 nummi and 2 radiates buried as part of a ceremony; Portable Antiquities Scheme: LIN-F6D516.

Edited by John Conduitt
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Wonderful coins and great write up Q!

Here is one of my favorite Diocletian coins.

C5B4955D-3493-4004-B2CE-18A474D8247F.jpeg.e42537d8e20751742f19fc36f37e2c2a.jpeg

Roman Empire
Diocletian (AD 284-305)
AR Argenteus, Ticinum mint, struck ca. AD 294
Dia.: 20 mm
Wt.: 2.92 g
Obv.: DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG; Laureate bust right
Rev.: VIRTVS MILITVM; Tetrarchs sacrificing in front of fort with 6 turrents
Ref.: RIC VI 14a, R3
 

I got to visit the Tetrarchs statue in Venice a few years ago. It was cool and almost no one else seemed to pay it any attention.

660BD809-F5FF-48D2-9F83-FAD0D1EAB04E.jpeg.1b265f9487b08880623f05106598306b.jpeg

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Beautiful set!!  But which one is your favourite, @Qcumbor?? 😄 (I really like the portrait on your Galerius.)

My only argenteus is this Galerius:

image.jpeg.15c3acbbf7dc26e0bccc0e461711bfe4.jpeg

Apparently there were 56 of this type in the Sisak hoard of 1415 argentei, so this is likely one of them - especially as I got it a long time ago, back in the 90s.  

According to RIC, in 1930 there were only 530 argentei known in either public or private collections!  So the Sisak hoard nearly quadrupled that number.  Now I see acsearch yields over 5000 hits for tetrarchic argentei - not all unique, obviously, so the actual number in the database will be lower than that.  Still, it's clear that a bunch more have been found since the Sisak hoard.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

Wonderful coins and great write up Q!

Here is one of my favorite Diocletian coins.

C5B4955D-3493-4004-B2CE-18A474D8247F.jpeg.e42537d8e20751742f19fc36f37e2c2a.jpeg

Roman Empire
Diocletian (AD 284-305)
AR Argenteus, Ticinum mint, struck ca. AD 294
Dia.: 20 mm
Wt.: 2.92 g
Obv.: DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG; Laureate bust right
Rev.: VIRTVS MILITVM; Tetrarchs sacrificing in front of fort with 6 turrents
Ref.: RIC VI 14a, R3

That is beautiful. I like this reverse. I have no excuse to buy one, though.

Edited by John Conduitt
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Beautiful set!!  But which one is your favourite, @Qcumbor?? 😄 (I really like the portrait on your Galerius.)

Thanks. So far, the Constantius is my favo(u)rite, but my likeness for the Galerius is growing in me

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
Typo
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2 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

Wonderful coins and great write up Q!

Here is one of my favorite Diocletian coins.

C5B4955D-3493-4004-B2CE-18A474D8247F.jpeg.e42537d8e20751742f19fc36f37e2c2a.jpeg

Roman Empire
Diocletian (AD 284-305)
AR Argenteus, Ticinum mint, struck ca. AD 294
Dia.: 20 mm
Wt.: 2.92 g
Obv.: DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG; Laureate bust right
Rev.: VIRTVS MILITVM; Tetrarchs sacrificing in front of fort with 6 turrents
Ref.: RIC VI 14a, R3
 

I got to visit the Tetrarchs statue in Venice a few years ago. It was cool and almost no one else seemed to pay it any attention.

660BD809-F5FF-48D2-9F83-FAD0D1EAB04E.jpeg.1b265f9487b08880623f05106598306b.jpeg

@Curtisimo you beat me to it but I'm adding a couple too, and my only Diocletian.

tetrarchs13.jpg.e7a95640655053d57c8f5e8631d113f0.jpg

tetrarchs14.jpg.40805007e9f31430602a96b42e6769fd.jpg

Diocletian2.jpg.ad2242922708660e5c13990adb1615cc.jpg

 

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Galerius As Caesar Ar Argenteus Heraklea 295 AD Obv, Head right laureate. Rv four princes sacrificing over altar in front of enclosed fortified structure. RIC 8 Gautier 13ac This coin referenced 2.99 grms 18 mm Photo by W. Hansengalerius11a.jpg.f3ea77578958cec572c457fe76c963d4.jpgThe argenteus was part of a short lived effort to revive a more or less pure silver coinage into the Roman monetary system. It failed largely because the available supplies of silver were insufficient to supply not only this silver coin but the huge numbers of silver washed folles as well. 

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Wow! The whole tetrarchy in the argenteus denomination! Well done, @Qcumbor!!!

I only have these folles.

Diocletian:

[IMG]
Diocletian, AD 284-305.
Roman billon follis, 8.99 g, 28.3 mm, 6 h.
Trier, AD 302-303.
Obv: IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, Laureate and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius, turreted, nude but for chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand; S/F//IITR.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 196, 524a; RCV --.

Maximian:

[IMG]
Maximian, 1st Reign, AD 286-305.
Roman billon follis, 10.96 g, 27.2 mm, 12 h.
Trier, AD 298-99.
Obv: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head, right.
Rev: GENIO POP-VLI ROMANI, Genius, wearing modius, nude but for chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand; A/*//TR.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 186, 277b.
Notes: Typically, the reverse legend is broken GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI.

Galerius:

[IMG]
Galerius as Caesar, AD 293-305.
Roman silvered billon follis, 8.62 g, 27.2 mm, 6 h.
Trier, AD 302-3.
Obv: MAXIMIANVS NOBIL C, laureate and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius standing facing, head left, wearing modius, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae; S/F//IITR.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 196, 508b; Cohen 65; RCV 14348.
Notes: Some numismatists postulate that the S F in the fields of these coins from Trier is an abbreviation for SAECVLI FELICITAS.

Constantius I:

[IMG]
Constantius I, Caesar, 293-305.
Roman billon follis, 9.95 g, 26.6 mm, 11 h.
Trier, AD 296-97.
Obv: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right.
Rev: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae; A/Γ//TR.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 183, 218a; Cohen 61; RCV 14035.
 
And here's Severus II:

[IMG]
Severus II, Caesar 1 May AD 305 - 25 July, 306.
Roman billon follis, 9.10 g, 27.1 mm, 11 h.
Rome, third officina, c. AD 305.
Obv: SEVERVS NOB CAES, laureate head, right.
Rev: SAC MON VRB AVGG ET CAESS NN, Moneta, draped, standing left, holding scales in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand; -/*//R T.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 365, 123a; Cohen 62; RCV 14638.
 
... and Maximinus Daza:
 
[IMG]
Maximinus II Daza, AD 309-313, as Augustus.
Roman Æ follis, 21.4 mm, 4.88 g, 12 h.
Antioch, AD 312.
Obv: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head, right.
Rev: GENIO AVGVSTI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, holding head of Sol and cornucopiae; *|Z //ANT.
Refs: RIC 164b; Cohen 21; RCV 14840.
 
 
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1474476329_2491170-016AKCollection.jpg.2cea491c5b1d31f0c0a536e9bdb26e32.jpg1477150965_2491170-019AKCollection.jpg.c4a29179aad83158df15def51efc868e.jpg1772238547_NGC4882929-006AlKowskyCollection.jpg.e06bdcca9180dedbae62c6137d9d0d64.jpg1826770460_NGC2491170-027AlKowskyCollection.jpg.aa60f43af6a4d391ee3c90a59f9b75c7.jpg1534669885_2491170-026AKCollection.jpg.17ae0b6737c21970b66a9e7d77a11d86.jpg672558211_CNG477lot638imageobv_rev..jpg.a69512ff62bb157753849811d698949b.jpg

Constantine I as Caesar, AD 306-309 (struck summer of 307). Trier Mint, 1st Officina. Billon Nummus: 8.73 gm, 29 mm, 6 h.

98950210_4094368-010AKCollection.jpg.2ee92177ff69e1b676ecf04457da4014.jpg

1231687012_CNG405lot536Sept.62017AlKowskyCollectionphotobyCurtisimo.jpg.a14926a337d406352ac37e7ca8b524d7.jpg

Maxentius, AD 307-312. Ostia Mint, 3rd Officina. Billon Nummus: 7.08 gm, 25 mm, 12 h. Reverse: Fides with signum in each hand.

225962559_2420232-004AKCollection(2).jpg.a509db73d8f7a58af0bea70958dac0d8.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, kapphnwn said:

The argenteus was part of a short lived effort to revive a more or less pure silver coinage into the Roman monetary system. It failed largely because the available supplies of silver were insufficient to supply not only this silver coin but the huge numbers of silver washed folles as well. 

I don't see why we should regard Diocletian's argenteus as a failure.

By Diocletian's time, the 5% silver radiates were obviously the coin of everyday commerce, apparently having a useful value for that role. In Diocletian's coinage reform of 294 AD it was really the 5% silver nummus (aka follis) that took over this role. The reduced weight aureus and 100% silver argenteus were obviously of considerably higher value, and seem to have served a different purpose - primarily for army/etc donatives, as well as tax payments, partly as a way to recirculate them back into the treasury.

Unlike the everyday "bronze" coinage, the precious metal coinage seems to have only been struck on special occasions, and certainly by the time of Constantine appears to have been struck almost exclusively only when the emperor was in a given city, likely because he would then be involved in handing these out as donatives.

With the exception of Maxentius, issuing of silver coinage stopped in both east (under Galerius) and west (under Constantine) around 307-308 AD, but was then restarted c.320 AD by Constantine, initially issuing dynastic types at Sirmium. Constantine primarily issued silver in two denominations - the 1/96lb siliqua and 1/72lb miliarense. The siliqua can be regarded as a continuation of the argenteus since it was the same weight, and I believe had the same 1:24 valuation ratio to Constantine's solidus as the argenteus had to the aureus.

 

Edited by Heliodromus
typo
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4 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

Wow! The whole tetrarchy in the argenteus denomination! Well done, @Qcumbor!!!

Thanks RC, and thanks folks for your great contributions. There are some really nices folles to be had all around, and they stay affordable. Following is my series in bronze

Diocletianus, Alexandria

4fa8bf1f458841839bece221e8fb9b88.jpg

 

Maximianus, Lugdunum

9d119094e9bc4471ad9cec1a119e1d2e.jpg

 

Constantius, Treveri

a13251bdac4842639949b5e5486d76cc.jpg

 

Galerius, Heraclea

9f66796a081c4959a7f2deb43c72866e.jpg

 

Severus II, Heraclea

53d9e3ee26c24f6c8e41f2f10ec479e2.jpg

 

Maximinus II, Antioch

22c58574153e48faa69876a7cd7a30db.jpg

 

Q

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